Friday, December 9, 2016

New Gas Station 1916

Lawrenceville Republican November 23, 1916
New Gasoline Station


Paul Lewis and Hayes Bale have purchased a new Hull Automatic gasoline station and installed it in front of Lewis Drug store on the north east corner of the public square. This is something new, and is a slot machine in operation.

The driver of an automobile stops at the station, adjusts the filling hose, then drops a coin representing his desire as to amount wanted into the machine and it fills the automobile tank to that amount. 

Three slots are available, 1 for 25 cents, one for 50 cents and 1 for a dollar. The machine is set for the price per gallon and the coin falling in the machine fills to that amount. Thus if gas is 20 cents per gallon a dollar fills five gallons. It will no doubt be popular as the supply is available at all times whether anyone is about or not. The station is a handsome piece of furniture and has an electric light in the top.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Farm Bureau News 1929

Lawrence County Farm News November 13, 1929 

400 members of the Lawrence County Farm Bureau attended the annual meeting held at the Bridgeport High School. On account of increased membership the meeting and dinner were more difficult than usual to handle. The preparation of food and serving 400 guests was a large order but it was carried out with precision and dispatch by the household science department of the high school.


The following members were elected from their respective townships: HO Tedford, Russell; WB Fitch, Bond, Edwin F Schrader, Lukin, John P Fearheiley, Petty; Omer Hossel, Christy; John Siegel, Denison; Loy Funk, Allison, Harley R Neal, Lawrence; WE Griggs, Bridgeport.

We are looking for photos of local farm scenes, farm implements, artifacts....anything to help us tell the story of the history of Farming in Lawrence County.  If you have anything you think might help, see a member of the Society.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Injuries Sustained in Refinery Explosion 1928

After the terrible explosion at the refinery: 

Vincennes Morning Commercial August 18, 1928 Eight of Nine Victims Improving

Of the nine remaining victims of the Indian Refining Company still explosion who are yet in the Good Samaritan hospital, the condition of Sylvester Plough  is the most serious, and his recovery is reported as doubtful.

The other eight victims, John Hipsher Jr, Herbert Schramm, WF Burbank, Charles Cummins, Frank Stout, Ralph Childress, CE Pinkstaff, and Eli Wood, are reported showing satisfactory improvement and it is now believed that all eight will recover completely from the burns that caused the death of 26 of about 75 men caught by the ill-fated explosion of the steam still on the morning of August 1.

The morale of the remaining victims has shown remarkable improvement during the past week, and the men who a week ago expected the same fate that removed 26 of their number, are now determined to survive and recover.

Although the external burns of several of the men are severe, their wounds are healing nicely, and unless unexpected complications develop there is now every reason to believe that they will be able to leave the hospital within a short time probably several days, and return to their homes.

The men in Lawrenceville, who were treated at home for their burns by Dr. RR Trueblood, company physician, and other doctors, are rapidly recovering, as well as the four men who were taken to the Olney sanitarium and later discharged. Many of the men are now able to leave their homes and are mingling with friends on the street receiving congratulations over their miraculous escape from death.


Dr. Trueblood is kept busy addressing the burns of the men and has won the fullest respect of the men for his untiring work in administering to them. A remarkable feature of the entire affair is that many of the men seriously burned will not carry scars of any consequence due to the skillful manner in which they were treated.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

HIgh Diver Dies of Broken Neck

Vincennes Morning Commercial September 6, 1928 High Diver Dies a Broken Neck

Capt. Frank Durman of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, fatally injured while making a high dive into a net at the Lawrence County fair at Bridgeport Tuesday night, died at the Good Samaritan Hospital Wednesday evening at 7:50 o’clock.

Capt. Durman died of a broken neck. His death brought a dramatic ending to a proposed sensational start for arousing interest in his act at the fair.

Prior to mounting the 90 foot ladder, Capt. Durman had suggested to other persons with whom he had been associated, that it would be a spectacular climax to his act to feign injury after his dive into the net and have the ambulance call to remove him from the grounds. He was discouraged in this, those to whom the proposal was made declaring that their acts were strictly on the square and that they did not approve of such a thing. It was stated that his actions throughout the evening were strange and that one of his friends suggested that he call off his act for the night. He ignored the suggestion.

He mounted the ladder and after the formal introduction, the daredevil diver plunged from the 90 foot platform to the net. Apparently he alighted properly, but on the rebound he came down on his head, lying motionless.

Those to whom he had previously suggested the fake injury thought that probably he had concluded to carry out his original plan. However, upon closer investigation it was revealed that he had been injured.

The injured man was placed in the Fessant ambulance, which had remained on the ground since the opening of the fair, and was rushed to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes. Upon examination fear was expressed that he had broken his neck in the dive, and an x-ray picture Wednesday morning showed a fracture of the vertebrae. His death occurred that night at 7:50 PM.

Monday, December 5, 2016

G W Carruthers, Attorney 1834

G W Carruthers residing in Lawrenceville near the Wabash River and on the Great Western Mail Route leading from Louisville, Kentucky to St. Louis, Missouri opened a general agency office. He offered his services in the following business:
  1.      Collections
  2.    Investigation of land titles and purchase of real estate
  3.     Lawsuits involving real estate
  4.   Foreclosure of mortgages, taking depositions of nonresidents, inspecting and transcribing public records and recording deeds etc.
  5.     Settling  estates of deceased persons
  6.    Acquisition of land, bounty, pensions etc. which was allowed for military services rendered or monies advanced to the United States or Virginia
  7.    Writing of bonds, deeds, indentures and mortgages in a form, neat and correct, payable in    country produce

As he had lived in the Western country nearly 25 years and was acquainted with such places as would “unite good health, with good soil and water, and all with convenient facilities for market, immigrants would probably find it much to their advantage to make selections of land through him for a small compensation.” He also stated that he could  practice in Supreme and Circuit courts.


 October 1, 1834

Friday, December 2, 2016

Female Schools

 December 10, 1834.  Even though our early settlers lived in Lawrence County, their daughters could partake of a 'proper education.'. 

An ad for a female school run by Mme. Granville informed the inhabitants of Vincennes that she has opened an Academy for young ladies at the house lately occupied by the Sisters of Charity. Her system of instruction would comprise of English and French Grammar, Geography, Chronology, History, Writing, Arithmetic, Music, and Ornamental Work. She hoped her experience in teaching, and attention to the improvement of her pupils, would merit consideration. December 10, 1834.

In researching the Readin', Ritin', and 'Rithmetic book, a deed was found that made reference to a female school located in Lawrenceville prior to 1835 also.    

Thursday, December 1, 2016

US Mail, and the Roads in Lawrence County 1834

The Western Sun and Gen. Advertiser, was printed at Vincennes, IN  by Elihu Stout.  The price of the paper was two dollars a year for 52 issues or $2.50 if the subscriber paid at the end of the year instead of in advance.  
January 3, 1835  This was not the first issue published but it is the first issue that has been digitized on the Knox County Advantage – preservation.com website.

The Report of the Postmaster General, WT Barry, made to the President of the United States was  printed in full. Barry stated that the gross amount of postage for six months from July to the end of December 1833 was $1, 375,487.28. The compensation to the postmaster’s was $434,028.80 while the expense for transportation of the mail was $1,013,402.68 and other incidental expenses of 47,797.29 leaving a deficit amount of $120,391.58. 

However, the first six months of 1834 produced a profit and the postmaster was happy to report that the amount of debt incurred by the post office was continually diminishing. The expense of transportation of the mail was a big concern to the postmaster.  Transportation in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia as well as the territory of Florida had been reduced providing an annual savings. From his careful estimate he anticipated with the entire confidence that before the close of the year 1835 the whole balance of debt against the US Postal Department would be extinguished.

However, the revenue was less than he anticipated. To a considerable degree this was attributable to the great increase of free letters allowed the executive offices and by a law passed in March 1833 extending to members of Congress the privilege of free mail during the whole recess. Every other year the session of Congress got longer and the expenses for the delivery of free letters at two cents each was increasing. (This is called the franking privilege.)  It was estimated that the number of free letters passing under the members of Congress amounted to 8000 a day during the session. 

Postmaster General Barry felt that had cost the department almost $250,000. He also complained that the departments of State, Treasury, War, and Navy including the sub- offices of the Treasury and the Navy paid no postage on official correspondence and that was equal to a loss of  2 ½ million dollars a year.

Barry stated that the number of post offices in the United States as of July 1, 1833 was 10,693 with an increase of 566 over the year previous.  The mail was then carried in stages and steamboats about 16,900,000 miles a year and on horseback, and in sulkies, about 8,600,000 miles totalling about 25,500,000 miles a year. The increase in railroad construction in different parts of the required him to make  inquiry as to whether measures should be taken to secure the transportation of the mail upon them.


Mail from Vincennes to St. Louis departed every Wednesday and Friday at 4 AM and Sunday at 10 AM.

Ed Note:  The reason for publishing this, other than to draw a parallel between history and current conditions, is to impress upon the reader, the initial reason for road appropriation.  The overall purpose of having good roads was so the mail could be delivered.  This applied to the Great Western through fare east/west across Lawrence County and ultimately a north/south road to Chicago.   

December 12, 1834 Illinois Legislature
The resolution was offered concerning the appropriations of Indiana and Illinois for the improvement of the Wabash River. Another resolution was offered asking for appropriation from US Congress to improve the Great Western thorough- fare leading from Louisville Kentucky to St. Louis Missouri via Vincennes and to establish certain mail routes.

Mr.(Jesse)  Dubois of Lawrence felt a deep interest in the improvement of the Chicago Road and argued that the work was of national importance as it connected Indiana and Illinois with Chicago. Pres. Jackson had raised a constitutional objection to paying for state roads.  One of the legislators said “we have asked bread of the general government and it has given us stones but as this is the begging  season we will ask once again.”  Mr. Dubois then offered the resolution for a good Road from Vincennes to Chicago.